On this particular sailing the weather was great. 6 days of sun and 2 of filtered sun. Not a single drop of rain the entire week.
Again on this particular sailing the seas were as smooth as glass - not a drop of movement on the ship. If you got seasick on this cruise, maybe you should give up cruising.
We arrived at noon and embarkation went smoothly. Cabins were ready and luggage delivered after we had lunch in the Garden Cafe
The sail-a-way party was high energy and a lot of fun.
The ship is new so everything is obviously in great shape.
We never had a big problem with slow or jammed elevators.
Never had a problem getting a table in the Garden Cafe
Our cabin was situated on deck 11, closer to the rear of the ship and was very convenient to the MDRs and Garden Cafe
The ship was easy to navigate with most of the indoor venues on decks 6,7 & 8, and the outside venues on 15 & 16.
The bed was very comfortable and the cabin was very quiet, nested between cabins above and below and with quiet neighbors on either side. We lucked out.
We thought the food in the Main Dining Rooms and the Garden Cafewas good, as compared to previous cruises. We ate in Taste and Savor once each and the Manhattan Dining Room twice. We also had dinner at La Cucina and at the Cirque show, both were fine. Considering they are feeding thousands it's hard to have expectations of gourmet food.
The staff was great friendly, efficient, polite and hardworking - no complaints here.
The Ice Bar was a lot of fun and a unique experience.
The entertainment was over the top - the best and biggest variety we've ever seen on a ship. Have you heard about too much of a good thing? More on that later.
We particularly enjoyed Fire & Ice, Cirque, and the band in the Manhattan dining room.
We really enjoyed the tour of Bermuda by bus. It ran 5 hours but did not seem long and you really got a good feel for the entire island. The driver/guide, Jovan Thomas, was particularly entertaining and really made the tour a highlight of the island for us. He was great.
The cabin was long and narrow and had a configuration that just didn't seem to work well for us, including the bathroom. The infamous closet next to the bed was also a nuisance.
The balcony was small and not comfortable for relaxing.
The ship was jam-packed. We heard there were 4800 passengers, and it showed in most of the public venues, particularly the pool deck, Atrium, H20, Manhattan Dining Room and the Garden Cafe.
The noise level on the ship made for a not very relaxing cruise. The acoustics in the Garden Cafe and Manhattan dining room made each of those venues frenetic to say the least.
There is no dress code whatsoever. Men were in the Manhattan Dining Room for dinner, in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, more appropriate for the pool deck.
There were too many people walking through the ship and in the elevators with buckets of beer.
The smoke in the casino is out of control and the design of the casino is confusing and intrusive in other areas of the ship.
The lack of flexibility regarding previously made reservations for dinner and shows was problematic. For example, we asked to move up our 6:30PM reservation for Cucina to 6:45PM but we were told it wasn't possible. It's pretty hard to know your exact schedule 45 days before the cruise. Also several of the shows were rescheduled 30 to 60 minutes before our reservation times, which made dinner reservations problematic.
The lack of lounge chairs in the shade, particularly on deck 8, was a disappointment. I don't think we spent more than 15 minutes on lounge chairs the entire cruise.
The atrium was always crowded and if you weren't there for the previous event you didn't get a seat. For Deal or No Deal, not only were we standing but if you wanted to buy a $20 game card you had to stand in line for 30 minutes to make your purchase. There were so many in line that the game began 15 minutes late.
Burn the Floor was a bit repetitive and Rock Of Ages was overly long at 2 hours with no intermission.
For every show doors opened 30 to 45 minutes early again making all of the entertainment long and arduous if you wanted a good seat.
Bermuda is clean and safe but in our opinion very boring, particularly being there for almost 3 full days.
We took a boat tour to the Harbor Festival but found the festival to be a whole lot of nothing, pretty much a 3 block street fair, much as you would see in NYC but on a much smaller scale, selling bric-a-brac and street food. The best part of the tour was the sail back and forth between the ship and Hamilton.
On the last day we took a 2 hour boat tour of Famous People's Homes. I guess there aren't many famous people with homes in Bermuda.
In the late evenings when parties were held in H20, the venue was always jammed and the music amped up to a level that hurt your ears.
We found the sound systems were always amped to the point of distraction particularly in H20 and the Breakaway Theater. Rock Of Ages was 2 hours of eardrum busting sound.
The worst event of the week was the Fireworks on the last night. Half of H20 was roped off so hordes of people were herded in the remaining half, including young children in strollers and the elderly in wheelchairs. The situation seemed unsafe in our opinion and we remained close to the entrance/exit, ready to make a hasty exit. There was no one from the staff controlling the numbers of people streaming in, not a good situation. About 5 minutes into the fireworks (not all that impressive), we felt about 3 or 4 inches of water at our feet and people began to panic and a crush began to make a hasty retreat out of the area. Again no one was in charge, no announcements were made. We later heard the hot tubs spilled over onto the deck. The reason was unclear since the seas were as smooth as glass. Some said that with all the people jammed on to one side of the ship, the shipped listed causing the water to spill. Not a great situation.
Although the individual parts of the cruise were pretty good, the whole experience wasn't what we had hoped for. Maybe in the fall and winter when the ship isn't as crowded, and NCL has a few more months to refine things, and with a Caribbean itinerary that is more interesting, a better overall experience will be provided.